FORMER Zimbabwe cricket captain Brendan Taylor has not ruled out an international comeback, hinting that he will one day return to play for the country. BY SPORTS REPORTER
The 29-year-old played his last game for Zimbabwe on March 15, 2015 against India at the International Cricket Council World Cup and ended with a magnificent century. His 433 runs at the World Cup set a new record for Zimbabwe in any World Cup.
Regarded as one of the best batsmen in Zimbabwean history, Taylor is currently playing for Nottinghamshire on a three-year Kolpak deal, which makes him ineligible to play international cricket.
However, the Harare-born player has not completely ruled himself out from representing the country in future.
In a wide-ranging interview with Cricbuzz, Taylor gave the reasons why he quit international cricket, his views on the future of Zimbabwe’s cricket and many more other related issues.
Below are the excerpts from the interview.
Cricbuzz: You were doing so well, what spurred you into making the decision to leave?
Taylor: It was the toughest decision I’ve ever had to make. I was concerned about the future of Zimbabwe cricket and with the administration side of it. I felt people were not qualified enough to run Zimbabwe cricket officially and just the way we were treated as players. It was really difficult to try and play the best cricket you could and deal with the issues. The decision made sense for me personally and from the family perspective. Zimbabwe cricket has been good to me over the years, but I just felt that by playing in England and being involved in one of the best clubs in county cricket would only better me. But I do miss walking out onto the field to play for Zimbabwe and against the best teams in the world.
Cricbuzz: Did you ever regret it?
Taylor: I’ve enjoyed my first year at Nottinghamshire and I feel like it’s only going to get the best out of me. They really look after their players and that’s something that has not happened a lot in our careers in Zimbabwe. So, for me, the only regret I have is not representing Zimbabwe for longer than I did, but I don’t miss the other challenges.
Cricbuzz: Where do you see Zimbabwe cricket headed?
Taylor: We’ve been crying out to play a lot more cricket. This year has been the most packed 12-month period for us and that’s been great. We are only going to improve by playing more. If that continues, it will help, but I’m concerned whether our development system, U-19s, U-16s, U-14s, is being run officially; I don’t think the quality of coaches we have in those structures is up to the mark and if you don’t have a grassroot system in place, how are you going to get players coming through the system? That’s a concern for me.
Cricbuzz: Will we be seeing you in a coaching or administration role at some point?
Taylor: I haven’t thought about it yet, but things can change in time. Right now I just want to try and focus on my cricket. I have two more years at Nottinghamshire. I could even end up extending there, I’m not sure how it goes. There’s more chances that Zimbabwe cricket changes in many areas and I haven’t totally ruled out an international comeback, but for now, I want to represent Nottinghamshire for a long period of time.
Cricbuzz: You are regarded as the best batsman in Zimbabwe’s history, do you agree with the assessment?
Taylor: I think people might be judging me slightly statistically. Andy Flower is Zimbabwe’s greatest ever player. I don’t think it is fair to judge me on that level. When I look back now, I think maybe if I had played for another eight-nine years for Zimbabwe, then maybe I could gauge myself against someone like Andy.